Bryan Siwei Zhao

Bryan (Siwei) Zhao

Bryan (Siwei) Zhao


Bryan started teaching EFL class in his hometown Wuhan, China in 2007. He taught IELTS (International English Language Testing System) preparation class for students from high school to working adults, mainly focused on speaking and listening lessons. In 2010, he entered the MA.TESOL program at SFSU and has improved himself in ways such as accumulating a varied teaching experience, learning from observing other ESL professionals’ classes, and integrating teaching skills and theories that he’s learned into his own lessons. Moreover, working with the top- notch professors and colleagues in SFSU has helped him consolidate faith in being a teacher who always respects the learner’s voices and always tries to make the class more communicative. He now teaches a vocational ESL class at Chinatown, San Francisco.


Presentation Abstract:

Using the Native Language: Help or Indulgence?

Use of learners’ L1 in ESL class has been a controversial issue. While many teachers and scholars advocate the “English Only Policy”, some others are suggesting that it is effective for teachers using L1 (First or native language), especially for lower level classes. After examining the teacher’s use of L1 and its effectiveness in lower level adult immigrant’s class and after interviewing teachers who use L1 in their classes, the presenter will address the following questions: Does teacher’s use of L1 facilitate student’s learning? How do the students and the teachers think about the teacher’s use of L1? How do students compare the “English Only” classroom and the classroom in which L1 is used by the teacher? The presentation will provide first hand information collected from a real teaching context to discuss the issue of bilingual or multilingual teachers using L1 in ESL class.

By Angela G

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